A bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court on Thursday put stay on single bench's order which stated that children below six years should be under the ambit of Right to Education Act (RTE). The earlier ruling required private schools to allocate 25% of the seats in nursery and kindergarten classes too.
Hearing a writ petition against the earlier order, the double bench comprising Justice PK Jaiswal and Justice Shubhada Waghmare put stay on the order and posted hearing for later date.
The petition was filed by four private schools of Indore namely — Emrald Heights, Vidya Sagar School, Pragya School and Advanced Academy. Petitioner's counsel, Gaurav Chabbra, said, "By including children below six under the RTE, the government is trying to shift its burden on private schools."
Article 21 of the constitution clearly spells out that child between 6 and 14 years old should be provided free and compulsory education. Chabbra said, "Schools are not-for-profit entities, if further 25% of seats in nursery and KGs are reserved for underprivileged kids, the cost of their education has to be further transferred on the parents of the remaining 75% children." Government's compensation is meager, he added.
Last December, while pronouncing its judgment, a single judge bench headed by Justice Prakash Shrivastava rejected the petitions of private schools and said, "RTE is applicable to children belonging to pre-schooling age group too."